"Things seem to be changing faster than I realized."
Jimmy's simple comment to Rothstein totally encompasses my thoughts about tonight's episode, "Ourselves Alone." I applaud the show for not losing the momentum of the first episode and keeping a steady pace. This season seems to be all about exploring the bad blood and bruised egos of the previous season, with exciting results.
After Nucky's arrest, the Commodore wastes no time moving against his former protege and the consequences could have been a lot worse for Nucky, if not for Margaret.
Tonight, Margaret reminded us (and Nucky) that she's a perfect match for the troubled city Treasurer. It's always a pleasure to watch Margaret hold her own against dismissive men, such as the pious Mr. McGarrigle, but it's even more amusing when she manipulates those around her with the same skill as Nucky. She surprisingly uses her helpless woman-in-need act to gain access to important evidence.
Margaret seemed happy to help Nucky and pleased to see him finally relaxed, but she might begin to resent being left out of the loop if Nucky doesn't wise up and see her as the asset she really is. Judging by the look he gave her when she produced the ledger and the cash, he might starting putting more trust in her and her abilities.
What wasn't surprising was how quickly the Commodore was able to turn the councilmen away from Nucky. They are all driven by their own greed and fear. Although the Commodore's attempts to reclaim his youth seem a little ridiculous, it seems to have calmed their apprehensions about his advanced youth. But seriously, hair dye? Lifting an elephant tusk over his head? The Commodore is overcompensating in a big way.
The Commodore wasn't pleased when he felt Nucky wasn't giving him his due, so now he hopes to tear down his former friend and set someone else up as leader. But, who? His conversations with Jimmy seem to suggest his son would be a good replacement (especially since Jimmy is trying to start new partnerships in NYC), but the young man seems of more use as the muscle than as the leader. However, I don't think Jimmy's ambition will allow him to just be an underling.
And what about Eli? The Commodore introduced him to "the men who made this city," but how much confidence does anyone have in Eli? Even his gloating phone call to Nucky didn't make him seem like much of threat. The Commodore clearly wants a puppet-leader, someone he can control. Eli just might be the right choice, yet I don't think he'll be happy about being used again after his issues with his brother.
All these big egos in competition for one city is going to lead to some big trouble, and I can't wait to see how this all unfolds.
Also, Chalky White is awesome! How cool was he just sitting there calmly taking Dunn's abuse, and then continuing to sit there while the other inmates beat the crap out of him? Chalky has some serious influence of his own and Nucky should never forget that.
What are you most excited to see over the next episodes?